Control the “inside channel,” or the space between your opponent’s arms and legs.
Controlling the inside channel gives you greater options for advancing position, as well as reducing the effectiveness of your opponent’s arms and legs.
Inside channel control can be a bit difficult to visualize, and is better illustrated with examples:
- When you have double underhooks on a standing opponent, that’s inside channel control.
- When you are standing in headquarters (the position where your opponent is on the bottom in open guard, and both your legs are between your opponent’s), that’s inside channel control.
In general, if you are using your body as a wedge to separate your opponent’s arms or legs from connecting, that’s inside channel control.
Inside channel control works because:
- It gives you greater options for mobility. Putting yourself on the inside prevents your opponent’s arms and legs from stifling your movement, meaning you can more easily transition to other positions.
- It allows you to close the distance. When you control the inside channel, it’s much harder for your opponent to establish arm/leg frames to make space.
- It allows you to control your opponent’s core. Attacking the core directly is unwise, because the core is the strongest part of the body (see Anatomic Hierarchy). By controlling the inside channel, you can force your opponent’s shoulders and hips to lock. This makes it much easier to pass guard and advance position.